How 2 women helped create the 3D art world

Feb 24, 2021 at 10:00 am by Michelle Willard

How Diane Griffith and Lisa Buckalew helped create the 3D art world

The 3D world lost two powerhouse designers recently with the deaths of Lisa Buckalew and Diane Griffith. While these women may not be household names to many Poser users, their impacts in the world of digital art are felt daily.

Griffith is better known to the Renderosity community as long-time vendor DTHUREGRIF opened the first store on the site and Buckalew built on that foundation as a co-founder of HiveWire3D. 

"Without the work of Lisa and Diane, there would be no marketplace for high-quality, third-party content. Separately they worked to lay the foundation that allowed Poser to flourish and its community of users to grow," said Michelle Willard, Poser Software marketing manager. 

Griffith was one of the first members when she joined Renderosity in March 1999 and was the first vendor on the site when she offered her first product about a year later.

In 1999, Griffith was using Poser as a reference tool in her art. At the same time, a group of programmers in Tennessee decided they wanted to create a community where people interested in 3D modeling could discuss ideas and share their work. It being the time before Google, she had to look in books or find other users to answer her questions about Poser.

"I had a question the manual couldn't answer and found Poser Forum," she said in a 2017 interview with Renderosity Magazine. "I later found Renderosity and ended up becoming part of the community. I started designing characters around 2000 and have been at it ever since."

Back when she joined Renderosity didn't have vendors or even a marketplace. It was a forum for Poser users to exchange ideas and advice. But that changed when Griffith with fellow Poser creators artists Jack Kammerer and Ed Arsenault started the first store on the site and offered the first products for sale.

"That seems like a million years and many lifetimes ago," Griffith said in 2017.

After her success at Renderosity, Griffith launched her own websites and 3D product marketplace over the years, but she would always find her way back to the Renderosity community. And she never stopped creating 3D products, having released her last character on Jan. 19. Find more of Griffith's products in her store.

Buckalew built on the thriving marketplace for third-party content that Griffith helped create. After working for DAZ Studio, she helped Chris Creek found HiveWire3D.

Known for her botanical products, Buckalew worked for DAZ Studio leading its Platinum Club for 10 years before venturing out with Creek to form HiveWire3D, which tried to bridge the gap between Poser and DAZ with the Dawn, Dusk and Baby Luna figures along with other high-quality 3D products, such as human and animal models that were created by talented designers like Ken Gilliland (Songbird ReMix), Nature's Wonders and animal texture maps by CWRW

Buckalew said in an interview with Renderosity Magazine that she and Creek sought to build a bigger 3D art community that was based on more than the program you use. HiveWire3D has five guiding principles. She called "the 5 Cs:" Create, Commit, Communicate, Collaborate and Care."

She explained the Cs are all equal but to "Collaborate" will help the industry as a whole. That's why HiveWire3D worked with Renderosity in the past few years to create a more inclusive market.

"We see this partnership as a way to gain more exposure for our products, which is not only a benefit to HiveWire 3D but to all who support the content we create," Buckalew said. "Our Collaboration with Renderosity is an example of how our commitment, combined with clear and open communication, has created a new opportunity for everyone involved."

Creek said this reflected Buckalew's personal philosophy as well.

"We are all better off for having known Lisa and being associated with her …" Creek said. "We all mourn the heavy loss of our HiveWire QueenBee."

Buckalew, who had been struggling with health issues for a few months died on Feb. 20, after she underwent another surgery that "was just too much stress on her fragile body," Creek said in a post on Facebook.

"Our Lisa was and is special, full of life with a deep love of her family and this 3D family as well. All of you meant so much to her," Creek wrote.